The Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA) is going to open a funding round in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to support electrification through clean off-grid energy solutions. The multi-year funding facility will be launching the call for proposals for off-grid solar energy providers on 21 June 2022.
The funding round was launched at the BGFA Steering Committee meeting related to the DRC Country Program. This is BGFA’s fourth Call for Proposals (BGFA4) which aims to incentivize off-grid renewable energy solutions in sub-Saharan Africa. The funding round worth €15 million is supported by Sweden, through its financial arm, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
The initiative aims to support the suppliers of solar home systems, solar mini-grids, and other solar-powered products in the DRC. It will focus on accelerating the entry and development of commercially-viable businesses in the country.
Dennis Hamro-Drotz, Senior Programme Manager at NEFCO, commented, “The market scoping undertaken during spring 2022 confirmed the acute need for energy access in the DRC, with very limited affordability for off-grid energy solutions in most parts of the country. Therefore, we are happy to announce that we will shortly launch an initial funding round in the DRC to support the market development and scale-up of energy access across solar home systems, mini-grids, and productive use of energy”.
Gustav Isaksson, the Program Officer for Environment, Climate, and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources at the Swedish embassy in Kinshasa, said that the BGFA is an important platform for increasing Swedish engagement in the DRC within green and sustainable development. Access to clean and sustainable energy is a vital key for resilience development. The BGFA will support the development of a sustainable energy sector in the DRC and improve the lives of the Congolese people.
The BGFA4 will accelerate electrification in the DRC, where the electricity access rate is less than 20% according to the World Bank’s 2020 report. According to Power Africa, this central African country has less than 10% of the rural population having access to electricity.
The BGFA opened its third Call for Proposals in April 2021 to incentivize clean off-grid solution providers in Uganda. Managed by the international financial institution, the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO), the BGFA has been implementing a €100 million program since 2019, supporting access to clean, affordable, and reliable access electricity in sub-Saharan Africa.